We won’t accept environmental infractions again, Lagos Mushin residents –

The Lagos State Government on Wednesday warned that it would no longer tolerate haphazard construction activities, street trading, roads and drains obstructions and other infractions constituting environmental menace in the Mushin axis of the state.

Gbolahan Oki, General Manager, Lagos State Building Control Agency, gave the warning during its sensitisation meeting, tagged: “Prevention of Building Collapse; Way Forward,” at Mushin Local Government Secretariat.

Oki warned against indiscriminate parking of vehicles on the roads, street trading, attachment of shops to fences and residential houses, conversion of residential buildings to ware houses and other infractions.

He said government was out to correct various illegalities jeopardising the safety of residents as well as the environment.

He also warned against construction on drains, selling on drains which he noted was “a collective responsibility” to protect.

“When putting shops on drainage paths, you are disturbing the drains because you are building and using the road setback for shops, and you are using the houses as warehouse, that is why you are constituting problems for LASTMA because the road is blocked,” he said.

He appealed to residents and businesses along the axis to leave three metres on the road setback for cars and not build shops or trade there.

He warned that the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development was going to embark on demolition of houses located under power lines as from Thursday to save lives.

“The rainy season is around the corner, we don’t want you to build on flood plains and have your houses flooded to endanger lives and property,” he said

Earlier, Oki advised developers and other construction stakeholders to comply with planning regulations and approvals to build good habitable houses.

He warned against substandard building constructions, noting that that there was the need to ensure structural stability because a lot of development was going on in the Mushin axis.

He said: “The Lagos State Government has a problem on this attitude that we put up when we plan development.

“If we all understand each other, there is no need to mark ‘X’ on the building.”

Oki advised that developers comply with extant regulations because the government had made things easy and given them district offices to address all issues of planning and necessary documentations.

He said there were several implications of not complying with regulations and approvals which included building collapse or government marking such houses for demolition.

“The purpose of coming here today is for us to work together,” he said

He said that government usually served three notices on construction sites before taking decisive action on demolition of such structures.

The GM advised stakeholders in the built environment to work with district officers, visit district offices on the right regulations, professionals to use and other requirements needed to construct strong houses.

He accused developers of cutting corners; and later spending more money trying to carry out the right approval processes.

“We want to carry you along because government is happy when there is development and more people build more houses, but visit planning officers, district offices to pay the right levies to build right,” he said.

He also appealed to the Association of Real Estate Developers of Lagos State to obey construction guidelines, carry out requisite approvals to make buildings safe for habitation in the state.

Oki while fielding questions advised developers to visit agencies of government to do their deeds of assignment and other documentations correctly using the right professionals.

Emmanuel Bamigboye, Chairman, Mushin Local Government Area, while delivering his opening speech, said the programme was important to foster the right relationship between government and stakeholders.

Bambgoye, who received a plaque of honour from the LASBCA General Manager, thanked Oki for the recognitions, noting that they were of the “same family”.

Meanwhile, Dr. Folayinka Dania, the Acting Chief Resilience Officer, Lagos State Resilience Office, while making her speech, said over 26 million people currently lived in Lagos.

Dania said the figure was expected to rise up to 80 million in the near future, hence the need to prepare.

Prince Atunde Sulaiman, Chairman, AREDOLS, raised concerns on issues of taxes and deeds of assignment, which clarification was provided by LASBCA.

Alhaji Olatunde Okunwobi, a Community Development Committee Chairman, also complained of high influx of trucks blocking the roads because people in Papa Ajao were converting residential areas to warehouses.

Other stakeholders raised issues of building of houses without car parks on the axis as well as Egbe Bridge linking Ejigbo being sand filled to obstruct a major canal.

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